Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ye Gods

Yes, as the previous entry shows, I am reading Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods. Among the most trivial of the issues it makes me ponder is what kind of fool gave the name to silicone polymers. You don’t exactly have to be a linguist to see where that was going to lead. The excuse that there was some chemical rationale for it (the ‘-one’ suffix was chosen by analogy to ketones, with which silicones were mistakenly thought to be homologous) is no excuse at all. After all, chemistry is replete with antiquated names in which a terminal ‘e’ became something of a matter of taste, including alizarine and indeed proteine. So we are now saddled with endless confusions of silicone with silicon – with the particularly unfortunate (or is it?) consequence in Winterson’s case that her robot Spike is implied to have a brain made of the same stuff as the brainless Pink’s breasts.

But for some reason I find myself forgiving just about anything in Jeanette Winterson. Partly this is because her passion for words is so ingenuous and valuable, and partly it may be because my instinct for false modesty is so grotesquely over-developed that I can only gaze in awed admiration at someone who will unhesitatingly nominate their own latest book as the year’s best. But I must also guiltily confess that it is clearly also because we are so clearly both on The Same Side on just about every issue (how could it be otherwise for someone who cites Tove Jansson among her influences?). It is deplorable, I know, that I would be all smug and gloating if the science errors in The Stone Gods had come from someone like Michael Crichton. But of course Crichton preens about the ‘accuracy’ of his research (sufficiently to fool admittedly gullible US politicians), whereas it is really missing the point of Winterson to get all het up about her use of light-years as a unit of time.

Ah, but all the same – where were the editors? Is this the fate of famous authors – that no one deems it necessary to fact-check you any more? True, it is only the sci-fi nerd who will worry that Winterson’s spacecraft can zip about at ‘light speed’ (which we can understand, with poetic licence, as near-light-speed) without the slightest sign of any time dilation. And she never really pretends to be imagining a real future (she says she hates science fiction, although I assume with a narrow definition), so there’s no point in scoffing at the notion that blogs and iPods have somehow survived into the age of interstellar travel. But listen, you don’t need to be a scientist to sense something wrong with this:

“In space it is difficult to tell what is the right way up; space is curved, stars and planets are globes. There is no right way up. The Ship itself is tilting at a forty-five degree angle, but it is the instruments that tell me so, not my body looking out of the window.”

Um, and the instruments are measuring with respect to what? This is actually a rather lovely demonstration of the trap of our earthbound intuitions – which brings me back to the piece below. Oh ignore me, Jeanette (as if you needed telling).

2 comments:

uhfdf said...

歐美a免費線上看,熊貓貼圖區,ec成人,聊天室080,aaa片免費看短片,dodo豆豆聊天室,一對一電話視訊聊天,自拍圖片集,走光露點,123456免費電影,本土自拍,美女裸體寫真,影片轉檔程式,成人視訊聊天,貼圖俱樂部,辣妹自拍影片,自拍電影免費下載,電話辣妹視訊,情色自拍貼圖,卡通做愛影片下載,日本辣妹自拍全裸,美女裸體模特兒,showlive影音聊天網,日本美女寫真,色情網,台灣自拍貼圖,情色貼圖貼片,百分百成人圖片 ,情色網站,a片網站,ukiss聊天室,卡通成人網,3級女星寫真,080 苗栗人聊天室,成人情色小說,免費成人片觀賞,

傑克論壇,維納斯成人用品,免費漫畫,內衣廣告美女,免費成人影城,a漫,國中女孩寫真自拍照片,ut男同志聊天室,女優,網友自拍,aa片免費看影片,玩美女人短片試看片,草莓論壇,kiss911貼圖片區,免費電影,免費成人,歐美 性感 美女 桌布,視訊交友高雄網,工藤靜香寫真集,金瓶梅免費影片,成人圖片 ,女明星裸體寫真,台灣處女貼圖貼片區,成人小遊戲,布蘭妮貼圖片區,美女視訊聊天,免費情色卡通短片,免費av18禁影片,小高聊天室,小老鼠論壇,免費a長片線上看,真愛love777聊天室,聊天ukiss,情色自拍貼圖,寵物女孩自拍網,免費a片下載,日本情色寫真,美女內衣秀,色情網,

liwo said...

av自拍,臺灣18歲成人免費,avon,正妹強力牆,免費線上成人影片,免費遊戲,a片貼圖,正妹圖片,3d美女圖,杜蕾斯免費a片,蓬萊仙山寫真集,a片網站,哈拉網路成人區,sex女優王國,性感美女,自拍密錄館,18禁卡通,爽翻天成人網,go2av,網拍模特兒應徵,台灣18成人,制服美女,小老鼠成人,成人光碟,金瓶影片交流區,85cc免費影城,成人交友,蓬萊仙山寫真集,無碼,正妹強力牆,嘟嘟情色網,影片轉檔程式,免費成人片觀賞,拓網交友,松島楓免費影片,色美眉部落格,18成人avooo,美腿論壇,辣媽辣妹,露點寫真,哈雷聊天室,18禁影片,看a片,美女工廠,影音城論壇,美女影片,免費遊戲,免費算,小魔女貼影片,a片貼圖,美腿褲襪高跟鞋,av女優王國,觀月雛乃影片,性感美女,

女優王國,免費無碼a片,0800a片區,免費線上遊戲,無名正妹牆,成人圖片,寫真美女,av1688影音娛樂網,dodo豆豆聊天室,網拍模特兒,成人文學,免費試看a片,a片免費看,成人情色小說,美腿絲襪,影片下載,美女a片,人體寫真模特兒,熊貓成人貼,kiss情色,美女遊戲區,104 貼圖區,線上看,aaa片免費看影片,天堂情色,躺伯虎聊天室,洪爺情色網,kiss情色網,貼影區,雄貓貼圖,080苗栗人聊天室,都都成人站,尋夢園聊天室,a片線上觀看,無碼影片,情慾自拍,免費成人片,影音城論壇,情色成人,最新免費線上遊戲,a383影音城,美腿,色情寫真,xxx383成人視訊,視訊交友90739,av女優影片,